Semifinal time: VMS takes on Kent Denver
If you go ...
Where: All-City Stadium, 1500 Franklin Street, Denver.
What: 3A state soccer semifinals, Vail Mountain School vs. Kent Denver.
When: 5 p.m.
OK, I really can’t see Vail Mountain School soccer coach Pete Petrovski doing Dick Vitale.
“Final, Four BAYBEE. It’s AWE-some.”
Yes, the Gore Rangers have a lot of PTP-ers and Nathan Rouaud is a “diaper dandy,” but really, the only thing VMS and Vitale have in common is a V.
With that, we welcome you to tonight’s 3A state semifinal — the Gore Rangers vs. Kent Denver at All-City Stadium in Denver at 5.
The Sun Devils are the defending state champs and the No. 1 seed in the tournament. I only bring this up because the last time the Gore Rangers faced a No. 1 and a defending state champion, well, VMS beat Colorado Academy, 3-1, in 2000. It also snowed that day over the passes, as is the forecast for today.
Want another omen? The last time a VMS team played at All-City Stadium, the ladies of VMS knocked off Denver Christian earlier this year.
History is generally more important to old cranks like me, but it’s my column, darnit. Kent brings back some memories. When I started here in 1997, the Sun Devils were the postseason soccer opponent.
In 1997, VMS boys soccer played Kent Denver and lost.
In 1998, VMS boys soccer busted out the orange for the first time, beating Bishop Machebeuf, before playing Kent Denver and losing again.
In 1999, Battle Mountain boys soccer made the playoffs and lost to Kent Denver.
In 2000, Battle Mountain girls soccer made the playoffs and lost to Kent Denver.
Perhaps this ends a little differently for variety’s sake?
Stuff you should know
Both Kent and VMS thumped Basalt early in the season. The closest Kent got to a loss this year was a 3-2 overtime win over Colorado Academy. VMS beat C.A., 1-0, at storied Bandoni Alumni Field. Kent beat Aspen during the first round of the playoffs. VMS has beaten the Skiers twice.
Kent did take down Jefferson Academy. That was VMS’ opener, a 3-2 loss. The Gore Rangers haven’t loss since.
Like VMS, two juniors, Max Gottesfeld (No. 9) and David Felman (No. 5), lead Kent in scoring with 20 and 15 goals, respectively.
Kent is 17-0-1 while VMS is 16-1-1.
All-City Stadium is turf, so there’s no issue for VMS.
While I as history boy get all concerned about Kent, the above numbers show these are two evenly matched teams. This is VMS’ 19th game this season and the Gore Rangers weren’t working on a super-secret play in practice on Tuesday. (If I told you, I’d have to kill you.)
Seriously, the game plan is the same thing as the previous 18. Bridger Gile, Robby Gruber, Max Bervy, Dylan Hardenbergh and Colin Rouaud, you guys hold down the back. We let Dylan Cunningham and Kevin Garcia work the center of the midfield. Eric Zdechlik, you play right mid, while Pablo Aziz does his duty on the left. (Just kidding. Making sure you were still reading.)
Peter Ferraro and Liam Hurley — which one has the man bun? — are up top. Do your thing.
This isn’t brain surgery, but I’m sure there’s a Ben Carson joke here somewhere.
Guys, play your game. Yes, it’s the semis, but Kent has 11 guys on the field and you have 11 guys and a soccer ball is still used. Coach Petrovski can doubtless do the Gene Hackman thing — have, say Hurley walk off 18 meters just to make sure the box is the same distance in Denver as it is in East Vail. Spoiler alert: It’s the same.
Go. Play. And most importantly, finish.
The boys get to wear the full orange today since Kent is the higher seed and VMS is technically the road team at a neutral site. I expect our partisans to be numerous, loud and very orange. Jeanne Macsata, you’re good.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.